How did Theranos trick so many people when checking the result of a blood test is be extremely simple?



Unless I’m misunderstanding something about Theranos, the claimed to be able to perform a blood test with just a blood drop, but I would expect anyone to check if their results was the same obtained with a regular blood test. A fake blood test is very simple to generate but almost impossible to get right, so how could people not notice immediately it was all fake?

In: Biology

The issue with Theranos was they lied about being able to do tests with so little blood. The technology doesn’t exist to do much in the way of blood testing with such a small sample. That is where the questions came up. They misled their investors about their capabilities.

They flat out faked a lot, but for some of it they really did tests with too little blood. And like, if you use too little blood it’s not like the test doesn’t work, it just gets more and more inaccurate.

Like you can do a cancer test looking for a certain protein, and to detect cancer you need to find a certain amount of it. If you just use way too little blood you can kinda fudge and guess and it’s not like it’s totally wrong, but it’s a super inaccurate test. But if you try it on someone it’s gonna be mostly right. So you do 50 tests, most of them are kinda close, two or three are way off, and some are just fake and the person seeing it says “wow! they aren’t perfect but they are close!” but no amount of further research would make it any closer.

John Carreyrou gave an interesting talk in which [he mentions that]( Theranos exploited a loophole that allowed them to dodge close scrutiny by federal authorities.

Once Theranos obtained the last Infinity Stone, he was able to fake the blood tests perfectly.